Ok, so there was actually no Day 1 entry, and I’m already so relaxed that I probably can’t remember much, but I’ll do my best.
Alex, you and Bubby left us as we went through security. That was quick, because, well, we weren’t flying, and I’m not sure what they were looking for. Contraband lifeboats, maybe? Then we waited and waited to get checked in, but in actuality, it probably wasn’t more than about 30 minutes before we were on the boat. Ship. Whatever. And because it was relatively late in the day, we could go directly to our room. I figured that it would be late evening before our luggage made it to our room, but there it was waiting for us! Along with two or three other bags that didn’t belong to us. We sent them away with our new best friend, our steward, Yendri. This room is huge, as far as ship staterooms go, and we have a shower AND a bathtub, as well as two sinks in the bathroom. Such class! We can both wash our hands AT THE SAME TIME.
Then came the safety drill. This consisted of the entire ship standing out in the freezing cold, while the crew members tried to ascertain who was actually present. That involved one Filipino voice calling out a room number, echoed by four other Filipino voices repeating the same number, then all of them arguing how to pronounce the name attached to that room number. Then, because the mean age of the passengers on the ship is about 85, probably no one responding, and the whole process is repeated over again. It took forever. I kid you not about the mean age: a gentleman standing in front of us couldn’t remember where he lived, (as in which city, not which stateroom) and had to ask his wife. For the record, they live in Brentwood Bay. I hope he doesn’t drive.
Anyway, the rest of the afternoon/evening until dinner sort of passed in a blur. We were so tired that we fell asleep every time we sat down. Dinner was so nice: for the first time, ever, we have a lovely table by the window. Our waiter, Freddy, recognized H. from our first cruise! The food was very good, and the servings are small enough (remember the mean age of the passengers) that we can have a number of courses and not be too full. H. had tomato soup, salad, and roast beef. I had something Thai (can’t remember what), a fruit salad appetizer and (for Matthew) a cheese plate for dessert. Freddy even found my favourite cheese (blueberry stilton) that wasn’t supposed to be available. I might have to marry him for that!.
Today was deliciously lazy. We tried to go up to the library, but its on the tenth floor, and just a bit rocky in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, so we spent the day on lower levels. We were most upset to find that there was no Oneg Shabbat listed on the daily schedule of events. But at 5 o’clock, H. had a brainwave and phoned the front desk to inquire about Shabbat services, and was told that they were being held in the Hudson Room at 5 o’clock. We ran down, and found ONE other couple there. They had complained about the lack of a Shabbat Service, and somehow the ship came through: three Challahs, a platter of gefilte fish, horseradish sauce (not as good as ours) and two sponge cakes! For the four of us. We just sat and chatted, ate some GF, and left! Maybe next week will be better.
So, after the non-Oneg Shabbat, we got ready for
And had a very nice meal, including the smallest portion of eggplant caponata that I have every seen, and a 4 ounce steak for H. No guilt there!
Afterwards, I had my favourite - the cheese plate - and once again Fredy was able to scare up some blueberry stilton for me. Sorry, no pictures.
Today is sort of gloomy, and we’re still falling asleep every time we stop moving. Must be tired and needing to catch up on some sleep. Either that or all that fresh sea air. Now off to lunch.
Last night was Formal Night. Which meant that everyone got dressed up in their finest. Well, almost everyone. There were still a few jeans and t-shirts in evidence. But we did see one bride and her uniformed groom. Not sure what kind of uniform it was, but they were cute. So was this couple, no?
And, because I know that you want to see the shoes:
They travel quite well, those shoes.
Dinner was another winner. Fredy had arranged to bring me an Indonesian meal, and it was delicious. We can’t get over how nice he is and how much he is willing to go out of his way for us!
After dinner we wandered over to the Vista Lounge for the Captain’s Toast, where he introduced some of his staff, as well as the crewmember of the month (or something like that). We made a quick getaway before the ‘entertainment’ started. This trip we discovered Dianne Fast in the piano bar. She can sing almost anything, knows all the words (or, her ipad does), and has a lovely voice. Very nice, indeed.
Today, the weather is slightly better, but the ocean is a bit rougher. We are exactly half way between Vancouver and Lahaina (our first stop). We’re still not bored, and have managed to cut down to two naps a day. We’ve booked a couple’s massage for 4:30 this afternoon, so we are resting up for the event.
We figure that the medical staff must be quite busy on this voyage. As I think I said earlier, there seems to be a huge number of frail elderly on this trip, and we’ve already witnessed two falls. So far, no one has been airlifted to the mainland, so I think we’ll make it to Maui without incident. I haven’t seen any pregnant passengers, so I’m fairly confident that my neonatal skills won’t be called upon anytime soon. On the other hand, the elderly and semi demented seem to find H. with regularity, just to keep his skills from getting rusty.
So, the massage/spa experience, yesterday. The massage was very nice - it is always nice - but the second, the absolute second it was over the hard sell started. From trying to push a massage package: you have such knots in your back that you need several treatments to get rid of them; to skin care packages: your skin is so dry….etc, etc; to trying to sell the various gels and creams. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. And I won’t go back. Ugh!
Then, to top it off, dinner was a 50% flop. H. had salmon (good) and I had what should have been great: Charlie Trotter’s olive oil poached cod. A nice thick piece, but it was dry and tasteless. Charlie Trotter would have a fit if he knew. Fredy, of course, brought dinner back from the brink by bringing me the best cheese plate, yet. All my favourites: Humboldt Fog, Drunken Goat (I kid you not), and the ever popular blueberry stilton. There was also a chocolate covered ball of capuccino ice cream, but we have decided never to talk about such things. Sorry, no pictures tonight.
We woke up early this morning, and spent a leisurely day in the library and on the Lido deck in the sun. It is finally starting to warm up, and we’ve seen blue skies for the first time this trip. The funny thing is that out here, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, there is barely any movement. I can’t tell, from up here on the sixth floor, if the swells are 6 feet high, or ten feet high. We haven’t seen anything else out there, either, no sealife, no birds, and no other boats. This is the definition of peaceful (which, an old guy told me, is the definition of Pacific!). You have no idea how wonderful this is, despite the nasty spa experience…
Today was warm (not hot, but a definite improvement) and even sunny at times. For the first time we did a walk around the deck. Well, a couple of decks: four times around deck 10, and once around deck 3 (the promenade deck). That makes a mile, I think. H. did his obligatory sleeping on the veranda. And LD (that’s Larry David, not London Drugs) made his first appearance of the trip:
Tonight was the second formal night, and we kind of got ourselves cleaned up for the occasion:
What we find quite remarkable and wonderful is the extremely elderly people who really get dressed up. We’re talking tuxedos and dinner jackets, and formal gowns. And they dance, too. One very frail lady said to me: “I can’t walk, but I can dance if he holds me up.” So sweet!
And, no Dick Cheney is not on our ship:
For the record, here is a partial list of all those activities in which we do not participate:
Educational lectures (on Hawaii, space, shopping etc);
Theatre performances (tried - couldn’t sit through it);
Movies shown in the screening room (although we keep telling ourselves that we will).
We do, however, do the following:
Stare at the sea for long periods of time;
Read on deck;
Read in bars;
Read in our (lovely, spacious) room;
Participate fully in Nap Time;
Attend Happy Hour at the Ocean Bar (love watching the old people dance to the jazzy trio that plays);
Knit (ok, that’s just me);
Tomorrow is Maui. Can’t wait!